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Espanyol logo
Segunda Division | 2nd Leg
Jun 23, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
RCDE Stadium

2 - 0
Real Oviedo

Puado (44', 45+2')
Cabrera (21'), Bare (47'), Milla (65')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Moyano (29'), Rozada (41'), Seoane (74')

Preview: Espanyol vs. Real Oviedo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Segunda Division clash between Espanyol and Real Oviedo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Espanyol will be bidding to overturn a one-goal first-leg deficit when they welcome Real Oviedo to Stage Front Stadium in the Segunda Division playoff final on Sunday evening.

Real Oviedo will enter the second leg of the tie with a narrow advantage, having recorded a 1-0 victory when the two teams locked horns for the reverse fixture last weekend.

Match preview

Espanyol's Nico Melamed pictured on June 2, 2024 (IMAGO)© Imago

Espanyol's 1-0 loss to Real Oviedo in the first leg proved to be the first time that they had been beaten since the start of February, with Alemao finding the back of the net in the 72nd minute of the contest in Oviedo.

Manolo Gonzalez's side therefore have work to do if they are to secure a spot in La Liga for the 2024-25 campaign, and their home record this season should mean that confidence is still high.

Indeed, the Catalan outfit have only lost once on home soil this year, which came against Getafe in the Copa del Rey at the start of January, while they have been beaten just once in front of their own supporters in the league this term - a 1-0 reverse to Leganes on October 20.

Espanyol finished fourth in the regular Segunda Division table, just three points behind second-place Real Valladolid, and they are bidding to secure an immediate return to the top flight, having been relegated in 19th position at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

The White and Blues beat Real Oviedo 2-1 when the two teams locked horns at Stage Front Stadium in the league earlier this season, but Real Oviedo have won two of the last three games between the two sides.

Real Oviedo manager Luis Carrion on June 18, 2024 (IMAGO)© Imago

The visitors only just managed to sneak into the Segunda Division playoffs, claiming sixth spot in the second tier in 2023-24, edging out seventh-placed Racing Santander on goal difference, with the two teams finishing level on the head-to-head record.

Real Oviedo then dispatched Eibar in the semi-finals of the playoffs, and they are aiming to secure La Liga football for the first time since the 2000-01 campaign.

The Blues have actually spent time in the fourth tier since their last participation in a La Liga season, but they have been a Segunda Division outfit since the 2015-16 campaign.

Luis Carrion's side suffered a 4-3 defeat to Eibar on the final weekend of the regular campaign, but they drew 0-0 with Eibar in the first leg of their semi-final, before winning the second leg of the last-four fixture 2-0 to advance, and then recorded a 1-0 victory over Espanyol last time out.

Real Oviedo's return to the top flight would be a big story, but Espanyol will still be confident of advancing due to their extremely strong record in front of their own fans.

Espanyol Segunda Division form:

Real Oviedo Segunda Division form:

Team News

Espanyol's Martin Braithwaite on May 5, 2024 (IMAGO)© Imago

Despite the disappointment of the result in the first leg, Espanyol head coach Gonzalez is expected to name close to the same side that took to the field last time out.

Martin Braithwaite and Javi Puado have scored 37 times between them this season, and the pair will again operate as the front two, with Jofre Carreras and Alvaro Aguado also in line to keep their spots.

However, there could be a change at right-back, as Omar El Hilali has served the suspension which ruled him out of the first leg, so Oscar Gil is likely to drop to the bench.

Espanyol are again set to be missing two players through injury on Sunday, with Edu Exposito and Omar Sadik unavailable for selection.

As for Real Oviedo, David Costas remains unavailable for selection due to injury, while Mario Hernandez and Rodrigo Tarin are also likely to remain on the treatment table.

Borja Baston is the top goalscorer in the Real Oviedo squad with 10, but it is likely that the 31-year-old will again be on the bench, with Alemao given the nod down the middle.

There will be a concern over the fitness of Paulino de la Fuente, who had to be substituted in the first half of the first leg against Espanyol, and if the right-sided attacker does not make it, then it is likely that Jonathan Dubasin will be introduced into the XI on Sunday.

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
J Garcia; El Hilali, Calero, Cabrera, Olivan; Carreras, Bare, Gragera, Aguado; Braithwaite, Puado

Real Oviedo possible starting lineup:
Roman; Rozada, Luengo, Calvo, Pomares; Luismi, Colombatto; Dubasin, Seoane, Moyano; Alemao

SM words green background

We say: Espanyol 2-0 Real Oviedo

This is such a tough match to call, and it would not be a surprise to see this one go all the way to penalties. Espanyol's home record cannot be ignored, though, and we are backing the Catalan outfit to navigate their way back into Spain's top flight courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate success over Real Oviedo.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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